Town’s Robins looking to pull away from Reds and Owls

MARK ROBINS is in a unique position to assess the incredible battle to stay in the Championship involving Huddersfield Town, Sheffield Wednesday and Barnsley.

For the current Terriers manager was last employed in Yorkshire at Oakwell and is also a former player at Hillsborough.

With just a handful of games remaining in a fierce scrap to avoid the drop to League One, all three Yorkshire teams are bonded together on 47 points and it would take a monumental effort for all three to survive this term. Town have six games left, while Barnsley and Wednesday have a game in hand, which they play on Tuesday night.

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But for Town, today’s visit of fellow strugglers Peterborough United offers Robins the perfect chance to launch their sprint for the line in what has been a marathon season.

“Every club presents a different scenario and our situation is unique to Huddersfield Town,” said Robins. “We have to plan and prepare as well as we possibly can.

“Nobody wants to be in this situation, but it only really counts at the final whistle of the last game. We know that in a week’s time things may look totally different, so we have to focus on preparing for Saturday’s game.

“If you look at the division everybody beats everybody, so there are no surprises. You wouldn’t have predicted Peterborough would beat Cardiff last week, but nobody can predict the league at this stage of the season.

“There is obviously a discrepancy between the spending at the top and the bottom of the league, but it is a tough division.

“We need everybody firing on all cylinders, as everyone is fighting to stay alive. We have got games against the teams around us in the league and we have generally tended to do well in those games. That is something to take hold of.”

Like Town, Wednesday can have a major say in their own destiny today when they welcome Blackburn Rovers – the fourth club locked on 47 points – to Hillsborough.

Manager Dave Jones insists his side cannot rely on others to do them favours in their battle to stay up. “You can’t rely on what others are doing you have got to do it yourself,” he said.

“If you rely on someone else to help you out in football, it doesn’t normally work out. It’s best to do it yourself.

“You get more pleasure that way as well. We are working hard for it and everyone is up for the fight.”

Blackburn have struggled to cope with life in the Championship after being relegated from the Premier League, but with £8m Jordan Rhodes in their ranks – he netted four times for Huddersfield on his last visit to Hillsborough – they have quality in their ranks.

“Blackburn are a side that have come out of the Premiership and they are adapting and it’s very hard,” he said. “The club is in a difficult spell and we have got to capitalise on anything we can. Any weakness that there is, we have to take advantage.”

Of the three Yorkshire strugglers, Barnsley have the toughest assignment on paper today, as they travel to promotion hopefuls Crystal Palace.

“We’re super focused on Crystal Palace,” said Reds manager David Flitcroft.

“The quality in that team is outrageous. It’s not just an attractive style, but a winning style. It’s a tough game for us to go into, but one we’re not going to fear.”

Previews: Pages 2-4.